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The Emirate of Sharjah is located along the coast of the Arabian Gulf over a distance of 16 Kilometres long, and extending into the interior of a distance exceeding 80 Kilometres. The three other parts of Sharjah lying on the Gulf of Oman are : Kalba, Khor Fakan and Dibba El-Husn. The Emirate has an area of 2590 Sq. Km, equivalent to 3.3% of the countrys total area excluding the islands. The population of the Emirate is estimated to be 412,000 for 1996.
The city of Sharjah is overlooking the Arabian Gulf. It comprises the Rulers office, government departments, companies, banks and hotels. Distinctive land marks of the city are the commercial markets built on the line of the Islamic design, like Sharjah Central Souq and Al-Majara Souq. Many recreational areas and public parks are established in the city, like Al-Jazeera Fun Park and Al-Bouheira Cornish. The city is also famous for the great number of mosques it has. Two other important achievements are the Sharjah International Airport and Khalid Port.
Some oasis are scattered to the interior, the most known is Thaid with very rich fertile soil which produce large quantities of vegetables and agricultural products. On the eastern region along the Gulf of Oman there is the town of Khor Fakan, having the main port of the eastern region. The other islands in the area are Abu Mousa and Sayeer Bou Naaeer.
This is an emirate which, as it likes to say, wears the cultural 'bridal gown' of the Gulf. Take a close, hard look at Sharjah and you'll come away nodding your head in agreement. Certainly, Sharjah's established pillars of thought, culture and creativity have combined to make it the unquestioned cultural capital of the UAE. Credit for that achievement goes, in no small measure, to the determined drive of the emirates' leaders: H.H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, ruler of the emirate, and H.E. Sheikh Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qassimi, the deputy ruler Their efforts to promote the city's standing as an intellectual centre have now led to Unesco designating Sharjah the cultural capital of the Arab world for 1998-99.
Like the other emirates on the Arabian Gulf coast, Sharjah too was settled as long ago as the first millenium BC, as findings at the famous archaeological site of Mleiha, about 65 km from Sharjah city, indicate. The thread of history runs strong here: the ruling family, the Qassimis, trace their lineage all the way back to the late 16th century, when Prince Al-Qassim bin Rashid bin Mohammed ruled the land.
That long and colourful heritage appears to have, if anything, galvanised
the current leadership towards making Sharjah a tourist destination
sans pareil. At Al Khan and Al Mamzar, within city limits, Sharjah is
building what ranks among the biggest construction sites in the Gulf.
A mammoth complex that will contain a beach, expo centre, culture island
with pedestrian walkways connecting to the mainland, hotels, a convention
centre, an artisan village and luxury villas. Sharjah enjoys the advantage
of a strategic location: parcelled between the Arabian Gulf and the
Gulf of Oman, on whose shore lie the picturesque port town of Khor Fakkan,
Sharjah offers the visitor the best of both worlds.
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